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An Anime Glossary

An Anime Glossary

August 14, 2002
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" The first thing to do is forget the word toon. Drop it from your sales pitch. It's fine for a sponsor's name because they usually have all sorts of content but anime surfers don't like the word. "

So, you finally built that anime gallery and you're about to start writing your sales pitch but are your images manga scans or anime captures? Do you have a lemony page filled with doujinshi or are all your images original june?

You might be asking yourself why you should care about knowing what these words mean. You're after dollars not yen, right? Well, the fans care and American surfers seeking hentai hot enough to make them pull out the plastic know as much about the genre as any Japanese otaku.

The use of these terms can have a dramatic impact on your surfers' experience, and your pocket book. If you use the wrong term in your sales pitch the surfer will tune you out and burn your bandwidth. You'll lose the advantage and you might as well have built a page with no sales pitch at all. Your only hope then is that he finds your banner exciting enough to click. Use the right words and you have his attention and you just might make the sale.

Knowing the right terms doesn't require expensive language courses or memorizing the Kanji characters. Whether you are designing a tour or just building a gallery, a few choice words in the right place will go a long way.

The first thing to do is forget the word toon. Drop it from your sales pitch. It's fine for a sponsor's name because they usually have all sorts of content but anime surfers don't like the word. If you are selling images of Saturday morning cartoon characters engaging in hardcore sex then you probably lost your diehard anime surfer, anyway. Selling toons to anime surfers is like cross marketing lesbians on a straight hardcore tour, it can be done but that would be anew article.

There are really two generic words you're going to use when referring to Japanese style art: anime and manga. Anime refers to an animated work, often a feature or television show. These are usually easy to spot because most anime images have a very high production quality. After all, a team of artists created these images. Most anime content on the market is ripped from videos. These image captures go a long way to get your surfers' attention. You have to sell him from there.

Japanime, or Japanimation, is the term Americans created by combining Japan and anime or animation. This word is used mostly by fans new to the genre and reviled by the average otaku (fanboy).

Manga refers to a comic book version of anime. Manga usually contains more special effects, such as dwarfing the character for comic effect (this small, childlike form is called chibi or super deformed). Manga often takes the form of comic book scans. These are easy to spot because they are almost always black and white and in some form a panel layout.

Manga can take a new name when fans create it. This style is known as doujinshi. It is art created by devout fans of various anime. Much of the manga you will find on the internet is doujinshi. The legalities of using any doujinshi vary greatly as much of the work may infringe upon the copyright of multiple intellectual properties.

Just as there are words to describe various levels of sexuality in movies (such as nudity, softcore and hardcore) there are terms anime surfers use to describe various levels of sexuality in anime and manga:

Lemon refers to anything that is mildly sexually suggestive. Anime fans adopted this word from another genre of fan fiction so there has been some reluctance to accept it in popular anime circles.

Ecchi is the Japanese pronunciation of the letter H. Often used to mean "dirty", this term carries a greater sexual connotation than lemon but is softer than the word it is derived from, hentai. The letter H is often used to designate ecchi (or harder material) much as Americans use the letter X in X-rated.

Hentai is our favorite word. It is a Japanese word for commonly used to mean pervert or perverted. Hentai is used to refer to pornographic anime and manga. It is derogatory in nature but American surfers have accepted it as a quick and easy way to determine if a work's particular content suits their interest. Nearly all hentai produced in Japan is censored. Penises are usually blocked out or omitted all together, while depictions of cum are left untouched. The delicate parts of the vagina are often obscured as well as any anal and vaginal penetration.

A newer flavor of pornography produced by many Japanese companies carries the label urabon. Urabon does not censor anything. It is considered far more pornographic than any other style. Much of this work is traded underground and any person found to possess it in mixed company is sure to be called "hentai!" "Pervert!"

A lot of the content you will run into will feature images of female characters in various poses. Many people refer to this style of anime or manga as Bishoujo, or "beautiful girl" art. Though it may be helpful to know that there is a very popular genre of explicitly sexual video games in Japan also known as Bishoujo.

The flipside to Bishoujo is Bishounon. Bishounon is simply "beautiful boy" art featuring boys in attractive artwork. Bishoujo and Bishounon sell as well as hardcore H to the anime audience. Lesbian anime and manga is called Yuri. This is good to know because it is one of the most popular subjects of hentai.

June and Yaoi are terms for the depiction of male homosexuality in anime and manga. June is applied to professionally created gay works while Yaoi refers to works that are more sex driven, often created by fans. There are subtle differences, based largely on Japanese culture but Yaoi is considered dirtier or more hardcore.

Lesbian anime and manga is called Yuri. This is good to know because it is one of the most popular subjects of hentai. Many female characters are drawn with a penis or other phallic appendages (such as tentacles) just so they can engage in some form of invasive sexual act with another female.

While romantic depictions (not necessarily sexual depictions) of gays and lesbians do have their own terms (Shonen-ai and Shojo-ai, respectively) you will want to concentrate on the hardcore words to sell your surfers.

So, a simple rule of thumb would be to refer to any page that does not contain images of sex of any kind as 'anime' and the more hardcore stuff, including the very popular bondage niche, as 'hentai' or H. And if you have access to legal content that is uncensored you would want to push it as urabon to your veteran anime surfers.

Instead of labeling your latest page of all male sex pictures as just another "gay anime" gallery you can tell your surfers you have the most explicit uncensored Urabon Yaoi this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

These words will also make your pages more search engine friendly. Fans that know what they want will be able to easily find your page and eat up your text. Fans new to the genre will learn something. And better yet, they will see you know what you are writing about and you aren't just another baka (moron).


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